Sustainable recovery of shellfish using remote technology (FS153)


This project will explore the feasibility of using Remotely Operated Vehicle technology for the recovery of scallops from the seafloor in an environmentally sustainable manner.

Funding Amount:


Duration of Project:

4 Months

Project Outcome:

Underwater Contracting Limited (“UCO”) were awarded a grant from SIF to conduct a feasibility study into the potential use of Remote Technology for the Sustainable Recovery of Shellfish. The project was conducted between 8th May and 9th September 2022, with tests performed on locations in the North East of Scotland.

The project established that UCO’s patented technology can be tailored in a way to effectively recover shellfish from the seafloor with the low environmental impact on habitats similar to that of a hand dived product. It is believed that the study has proven that this technology could provide a new sustainable method of Shellfish recovery, with the potential to reduce the impacts on habitats caused by methods such as dredging and increasing the safety for small vessel operations, potentially removing the needs for diving operations. Through the prototype development and testing regime, the team were able to increase the capacity of the existing system, successfully recover Shellfish, and establish that this could be achieved at a commercial recovery rate believed to be equal to, or in excess of hand dived shellfish operations, with the ability to scale up further. We believe this is a potential lifeline for small commercial producers, faced with regulatory complexities, rising costs and availability of suitably qualified diving personnel.

STATUS: Completed

Project Lead

Underwater Contracting Limited